City council to decide future of Miner Fire Department - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

City council to decide future of Miner Fire Department

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

The Miner City Council is considering turning the job of fire protection over to the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

The volunteer department has been running since 1955. Some people in the community, along with firefighters, say they want to keep it that way, but other city leaders say it's time to consider shutting it down.

“They're here for more than just fighting fires. During the ice storm, they helped bring water to people, they checked on the elderly,” former Miner firefighter Jimmy Alsup said.

Alsup those are all services that could be lost if the volunteer department is no more.

“I think the city is making a big mistake in getting rid of it,” Alsup said.

But, it's not a done deal yet. No one from city council or the mayor would answer additional questions, but councilwoman Delores Smith did provide this statement.

It reads “The Miner City Council did agree to looking at contracting fire service with the city of Sikeston.”

The question is why consider the change?

“I have yet to get a straight answer from anybody as to why they want to get rid of it. They say ‘well, it's money.' Well, everything comes down to money,” Alsup said.

One former firefighter said he plans to be at the upcoming community input meeting to voice a potential solution.

He suggests a one-quarter of a cent sales tax generated mainly from tourism. That tax would go only to the department. He says bringing that tax to a vote would really help the community decide what's best.

Alsup agrees.

“Do a tax, you know, educate the people on what's going on,” Alsup said.

Sikeston DPS officials say if Miner decides to make the change, they'll provide the service.

“We would treat that city as an additional district. They would get the same type of coverage there as we give any of our districts in town,” Captain James McMillen said.

McMillen doesn't know the exact cost of the service, but said it's comparable to what Miner currently spends on its fire department.

“It's a decision that they have to make on a cost benefit type of analysis,” Captain McMillen said.

It's a decision yet to be made, but some volunteers say they want to keep doing what they love.

“They do it because they enjoy it and they enjoy serving the public,” Alsup said.

All community members are welcome to attend the meeting about this issue on Thursday at 5:15 at the Miner Convention Center.

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